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Wednesday 5 October 2022

Christian Williams

Nowadays, Christian Williams is best known as a dual purpose trainer based at Ogmore Farm, on the outskirts of Ogmore-by-Sea, in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. However, before eventually being forced into retirement, aged 29, in March, 2014, Williams was a highly successful National Hunt jockey. In fact, despite suffering more than his fair share of serious injuries, he was, at one point, number two jockey to Ruby Walsh at Paul Nicholls' Manor Farm Stables. All told, Williams rode 339 winners, many trained by Nicholls, and enjoyed his most successful season in 2005/06 with 77 winners and over £786,000 in total prize money.

By his own admission, before his riding career was curtailed by injury, Williams never harboured any aspirations to become a trainer. He said, 'I'll be honest, I never saw myself training, it sort of just happened. I was forced into doing my licence by Dai Walters [who built Ffos Las Racecourse] and moved on from there.' Williams was briefly employed as a salaried trainer at Walters' stable, The Hollies, in Lisvane, on the northern outskirts of Cardiff, before moving to his current premises in early 2018.

As a trainer, Williams has wasted little time in establishing a reputation for his skilled handling of staying steeplechasers. In 2019, he saddled Potters Corner to win the Midlands Grand National and the Welsh Grand National. In 2022, he saddled Win My Wings to win the Eider Chase at Newcastle and Cap Du Nord to win the Coral Trophy at Kempton on the same day in February and, in April, trained a 1-2 in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr with Win My Wings and Kitty's Light. In 2021/22, Williams enjoyed his most successful National Hunt season so far, with 34 winners and over £665,000 in prize money.